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tv   BBC Newsnight  WHUT  October 6, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc newsnight." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard
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to understand the industry to operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> as spain teeters on the edge of an economic abyss, is chaldea about to make a bid for independence? -- is catalonia about to make a bid for independence? calls for separation grow louder. we talk to the politicians to see if catalonia is about to go it alone. fighting continues in syria this week. we speak to the former secretary general of the united nations, who has issued a stark warning about the syrian conflict. >> if they cannot come together
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or find a way to work together, then we are in a really, really hopeless situation. >> on board the africa express', the train which runs on music. hello. spain is poised on the brink of a bailout this week, but as the country's economic woes mount, there are cracks appearing within the complex relation between barcelona and madrid. catalonia is not germany, but the region is the economic powerhouse of spain, and nationalists there resent subsidizing other regions and in making their voices heard. >> of catalonia does one day get its own air force, it will probably be able to afford
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something better than these. on the beach in barcelona, the air show is a welcome distraction. spain's richest region is now at the center of the crisis with madrid committed to the austerity. there is now a rising demand in catalonia for independence. >> my feeling is that the spanish government totally rejected what is happening here. they spread rejection and hate with comments calling us the damned catalan that does not want to cooperate. >> there are feelings to be a lot better off if they were not part of spain. it put this together, i think we are relatively close to reaching our goal -- if you put those together. i think we are on the right path. >> but catalonia is a path often dreamed of but never taken. the regional government wants at
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the very least fiscal autonomy. they called a snap election and threatened to hold a referendum on independence, but could this iconic spanish city ever leave spain? at the headquarters of the ruling party, i talked to one of the men who decide that. of the union party that runs the region. >> it is a difficult moment in a rich land that between 8% of 9% of our gdp every year to spain. the result is not happy at all because there are double the cuts in terms of social services, health services, double cups of the rest of spain and double taxes.
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that is a really big imbalance. we must solve that. >> catalonia has a powerful hand to play -- it is the industrial powerhouse, rich, a kind of spanish germany. until now, nationalist politicians have played that hand to get concessions from madrid, but madrid now can only offer austerity and has repeatedly denied the region's attempts to gain more autonomy. >> we have the political power, but barcelona had the economic power, and now, we are trying in a very clear way to concentrate economic and political power. >> the catalan government now wants an independence referendum legal or otherwise. >> if the legal process does not
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run good enough, we will not stop. >> you will have a referendum? >> it is impossible to avoid it. >> if they ever do become a country, they will have no trouble forming a football team. at this soccer bar on tuesday night, there were no doubts about what is changing. >> i feel absolutely catalan. >> two or three years ago, people would say that independence thing would never happen. but now, after what has happened in the last month or month and a half. >> in the rest of spain, reactions to the catalan independence referendum have been less joyous. in a press interview, a serving officer in the army made this
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statement -- catalan independence over my dead body and that of many other soldiers. today, it is like 1936 only without the blood. fortunately, a -- unfortunately, the data tells us the economy is going to get even worse. in barcelona, they are trying to take attitudes like that in stride. >> persons in the army will appear. any kind of fear shows how weak is spain and spanish politics, defending or trying to avoid the politics. >> the economic impact of catalan independence is disputed, but at least it can be measured in facts and figures. what cannot be measured is feeling, and there is a huge wave of nationalist sentiment here. that put formal support for independence of around 52%, but
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what no one can know is the point at which the way it becomes unstoppable -- the way of becomes unstoppable. it is just a folk dance, but it is performed outside the theater every sunday and has massive significance. people died to -- for the right to speak their own language, sing their own folk song. up to now, the cultural freedom symbolized here has been enough to contain it, but we still do not know where the crisis ends. >> that was paul mason. the former secretary general of the united nations says he has spent his life striving for peace across the world, pressing the flesh with world leaders, working with some of the club's most intractable conflicts.
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his work won him a nobel prize in 2001, but his attempts to solve the crisis in syria as united nations arab league envoy failed. when he left in august, he said the syrian people desperately need action, but there continues to be finger-pointing and name- calling in the security council. my colleague talked to him earlier this week about the future of syria and his career at the united nations. >> what are you most proud of in your 50-year career at the un? >> i think making it to the top without really expecting to get their because no staff member had ever made it to the top. the organization always look outside for a leader, but i was extremely pleased with the work
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we did to fight poverty around the world. >> david cameron address the general assembly. the blood of these young children in syria is a terrible stain on the reputation of these united nations. >> i hope when prime minister cameron says this, it is a blood on our reputation, we, the member states, not the bureaucrats. >> with the members of the security council, we know that russia has been supplying hardware for assad. we understand -- we think that the americans are supporting ticket. this is a security council who is doing nothing in this situation. why should anyone believe that the u.n. can fix things? >> you are right that the
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divisions in the council make a solution difficult. that was one of the reasons i resigned, as you know, but the challenge is to overcome those divisions and get them working -- i tried. at the beginning, they came together, but it was not sustained. if the security council is not made to come together, then we are in a really hopeless situation. >> and syria will descend further into war? >> it could get worse. it could get much worse. how do we solve the problem? militarization or intervention, in my judgment, will make the situation much worse.
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>> what do you foresee happening? >> i think the neighbors will be drawn in. already, we have seen thousands of refugees fleeing to jordan, lebanon, turkey, iraq. she hottest elements are coming in across the border -- jihadist elements are coming in across the border. >> do you think the only solution is for assad to go? >> there is no doubt that you cannot kill that many people and stay in power, but that is not a solution. that is may be part of the solution. what happens when he goes? we need to make sure that the security forces -- that they do not get into a chaotic collapse.
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>> do you think, with hindsight, when you took up the role for syria, you should have been less even-handed from the beginning and should have said right from the get go, "bashar al assad, you have to leave"? >>no, that is not a negotiator. i was brought in to try to bring the parties to the table. even the big powers have not been able to do that. for the mediator to walk in and think you can do that, you would be crazy. >> kofi annan, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> it was called africa the mostand was one of bizarre and successful music events of the summer. o e -- over 80 african and western musicians traveling in a railway train, stopping off to appear in a concert or pop up
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events in which they mix together to create new music that they rehearsed on board. one british musician was on board along with african stars. they gave us exclusive television access to their journey. >> this was a tour that broke all the known rules of the music industry. over 80 musicians, some very famous, some virtually unknown in britain but stars in africa, toward the country in a chartered train in a venture that cost 500,000 pounds, but there were no headliners at the show. some events were planned at the very last minute, and the artists themselves decided who would be playing well after non- stop rehearsals from the train itself -- who would be playing what.
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♪ one character is laid out with the studio. different musicians played here nonstop throughout the seven-day tour of great britain. in this session, the guitarist from the magic numbers, south african and british-known wrappers, and the wildly enthusiastic david or bond on the project. he has been a key figure in all events. african express this train trip was one of the most ambitious outings to date. >> it is not a person. it is not a group of people. it is an idea.
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>> i think the level of musicianship -- i think everyone knows what it is about now. we track people who want to participate in that, and that is just amazing. nothing really sort of getting in the way of wanting to make music, on that day to make it -- it is very therapeutic. >> just a few carriage as a way, there was another impromptu session -- just a few carriages away. this one involved one of .frica's greatest stars
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>> in this journey, it is not just classical musicians. it is everyone. people, young ones, all together, the people walk on to the stages of music together, thinking and traveling together on a wonderful journey. >> the collaboration, the journey, you know? i mean, we go to so many festivals and meet some the people, but you hardly ever have
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a chance to mess around with them, so this is a lot of fun for me. >> the best-selling young english pop stars were also having a good time. >> the best time of your life? >> one of them. >> i cannot really explain, the amount of life, positivity, musical energy. it is impossible not to be happy about being part of that experience. and we got to share the stage with so many musicians that we respect. >> at just 20 years old, surprisingly, they were not the young is musicians on the train.
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there is a californian, who was only 15. what have you learned? >> everything. everything about music. you can literally just do anything you want with it and with anyone. >> the train has everything from a yoga teacher to a meeting room in a luggage wagon. journalist and former david cameron speechwriter was involved in raising money for the trip. about half the cost was made -- paid by the london 2012 cultural olympiad, which supported events celebrating the olympic and paralympic games. >> you want the artist to feel comfortable and not be worrying about the hotels and all that, but there has been a lot of planning. >> the job six years ago was
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from a country famous for its culture and music, but today, it is in chaos after a coup in the capital in which 2/3 of the country is now controlled by an islamic group wildly opposed to events like this. >> no one wants to live under such semi-medieval ideas. it is unacceptable, personally, i think. they are a democracy, and they should have a say in their whole country, and if they want to pass it, they should all agree to it together. >> many in the west only know about the history -- about mali and its history three musicians, and yet, music is now banned under those in control in much
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of the country. >> it is really sad, but i can do nothing against that. the only thing i can do is going on working, trying to make people think good things of mali and see good things. >> another of the great success stories is from this blind do. they have become friends. they have guitar playing but no language in common. >> it works well. it is a great pleasure schering music. when your two guitarists playing together, it is in reaching -- when you are two guitarists
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playing together, it is enriching. >> we could be in room two hours just playing. same as talking here. you let someone have the chance to play. i don't know. it is something unique. >> many of the musicians appeared in a series of three so-called pop up events across the city, playing at very short notice to schoolchildren. >> what do you make of that? >> quite good. >> what was good about it?
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>> i like the drums. >> do you ever get to see stuff like this? >> no. >> we have parties like this in our country, and we play this kind of music. >> where are you from? >> congo. >> because appear in each night for a concert that lasted for 4.5 hours or even longer. ♪ this show was at a venue called the charges on the glasgow central station -- the largest -- the arches at the glasgow central station.
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and then there was jupiter, who has been developing his style in 10 shots at for over 20 years, only now touring in the west with his band -- developing his style in kinshasa. africa express' set out to bring african music and new fusion styles involving african and western performers to parts of the country that do not often get visited by well-known musicians. one such city was middlebrook in the northeast, and here, one of the three pop up shows took
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place in a library. this impromptu event involved a brass section, and ethiopian musicians who play the ancient egyptian lyre. [applause] and the audience has seen nothing like this before. the >> no one ever comes here, so it is nice when people actually do. >> the train chugged around the country. along the way, new songs were rehearsed for the different shows.
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approaching carlisle, we found him reworking his hit. in carlisle, up in the northwest of england towards the scottish border, they will get another impromptu show in another town where you would never expect to find major african musicians. when it comes to record sales, the music industry is in crisis, but africa expresse proves that nothing is as exciting and successful as live music and the great unexpected. bringing african and western musicians together in unlikely locations, it proved to be one of the music events of the year.
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>> that is all for this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> makes sense of international news at >> funding for this presentation is made possible by d freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering
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specialized solutions in capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc newsnight" was
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